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FEU stays alive in five to force a do-or-die against La Salle

By Emy Manipol

PASAY CITY -- FEU will live to fight for another day as came from two sets down to maul second seeded La Salle in a Final Four duel that went the distance, 15-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-21, 16-14 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Junior Bernadette Pons poured in 22 points on 20 spikes, a block and a service ace for the third seeded Lady Tamaraws as they force a do-or-die Wednesday, also at the MOA Arena. Captain Remy Palma pitched in 18 markers for Coach Shaq Delos Santos, whose Morayta spikers are on a five match-winning streak dating from the regular season and is looking to return to the finals for the first time since 2009.

Junior Kim Dy had 20 points on 17 attacks and 3 blocks for Coach Ramil De Jesus, but it was not enough to squander their twice-to-beat incentive and avoid a semifinal decider for the second consecutive time.

The Lady Spikers started out firing as Dy peppered the Lady Tams’ floor with hard hits. De La Salle pounced on FEU’s miserable receiving and took set one in a convincing 25-15 fashion. 

La Salle had to endure a mini-scare in the second set as they squander two set points before putting the Lady Tams away on the third try through Ara Galang.
FEU fought back in the third set, ith their back against the wall, as Pons and Palma poured on points and extended their season by another set
Riding on their momentum, the FEU jumped on La Salle’s shaky defense early to build a lead as high as five. But Majoy Baron, who was silent for the first two sets, went to work on the 4th to help her team chop off the Lady Tamaraw’s lead, but Pons sent this match into a decider as she spiked their set point on the second try.

Both teams traded points during the fifth and deciding set. Cyd Demicillo carried the offensive chores for DLSU while Pons and Palma lifted their squad. The Lady Archers reached the eight-point mark first but FEU quickly countered to once again tie the match at 8 all. FEU reached match point but an error on the service line by Heather Guino-o gave La Salle the chance to tie the game.

However, FEU breathed a sigh of relief to force a rubbermatch as Demecillo's attack went in between Pon's arms but it was ruled outside, much to the relief of the supporters in yellow.

Follow her on Twitter: @emymanipol